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State of Oklahoma ex rel. Oklahoma Bar Association v Casey

Case No. SCBD-4758 (OK S.Ct., Nov. 13, 2012)

These two matters are treated as companions for purposes of a published opinion only. The one count complaint against Respondent Lawrence A.G. Johnson alleges misconduct perpetrated in concert with Respondent N. Franklyn Casey. That alleged misconduct generated two of the three counts in the Casey complaint. A separate count arising from a separate legal matter is asserted against Respondent Casey only. The two matters were assigned to this office June 18, 2012.

STANDARD OF REVIEW



In a bar disciplinary proceeding this Court exercises exclusive original jurisdiction arising from its nondelegable power to regulate the practice of law. State ex rel. Okla. Bar Ass'n v. Minter, 2001 OK 69, ¶ 7, 37 P.3d 763, 768. "In deciding whether discipline is warranted and what sanction, if any, is to be imposed for the misconduct charged, the court conducts a full-scale, nondeferential, de novo examination of all relevant facts, in which the conclusions and recommendations of the trial panel are neither binding nor persuasive." State ex rel. Okla. Bar Ass'n v. Clausing, 2009 OK 74, ¶ 4, 224 P.3d 1268, 1272 (citations omitted). "The Supreme Court may approve the Trial Panel's findings of fact or make its own independent findings, impose discipline, dismiss the proceedings or take other action it deems appropriate." Rules Governing Disciplinary Proceedings (RGDP), Okla. Stat. tit. 5, app. 1-A, Rule 6.15(a) (2011).

THE TRIAL OF THIS MATTER BEFORE THE PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY TRIBUNAL



An extensive trial was conducted concerning the actions of both Respondents before the Professional Responsibility Tribunal (PRT). It included testimony from two of the trial judges in the litigation that gave rise to the complaints against Respondents and numerous exhibits that included depositions and transcripts associated with that litigation. The trial became focused on the ultimate success of the underlying litigation. The General Counsel and the Respondents used the trial courts' determinations as to the merits of the litigation and those courts' view of Respondents' ethical obligations to prosecute and defend the complaints.




 

 

Judge(s): Doug Combs
Jurisdiction: Oklahoma Supreme Court
Supreme Court Judge(s)
Tom Colbert
Doug Combs
James Edmondson
Noma Gurich
Yvonne Kauger
Steven Taylor
Joseph Watt
James Winchester

 
Appellant Lawyer(s) Appellant Law Firm(s)
Franklyn Casey Pro Se
Lawrence Johnson Pro Se

 
Appellee Lawyer(s) Appellee Law Firm(s)
Loraine Farabow Oklahoma Bar Association

 

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stat. tit. 5, ch. 1, app. 3-a (2011): rule 1.6(a) (client confidences), rule 3.1 (filing a 2 kauger, j., concurring in part/dissenting in part: rule 6.7 of the rules governing disciplinary proceedings, 5 o.s. 2011 ch. 1, app. 1-a there is a reason parties needed more time. a continuance was granted. for unknown reasons, the matter this court explained and applied rule 1.15(b) and (c) in state ex rel. okla. bar ass'n v. merits of the litigation and those courts' view of respondents' ethical obligations to married. briggs referred atkinson to johnson who filed the friendly suit as a declaratory transcripts, exhibits, and the briefs of the parties demonstrates clear and convincing ¶21 in august, 2000, a settlement of $650,000 was reached with the defendants in the years with no history of discipline from this court. a six month suspension is the generated two of the three counts in the casey complaint. a separate count arising from a lawrence a.g. johnson, respondent. ¶8 there was nothing before the court which explained the excessive delay in holding by abandonment of one of the spouses or by mutual agreement to live casey's actions, he was required to comply with the following requirements for the decided: 11/13/2012 filed until the trial panel held a hearing and issued its report. rule 6.6, of the rules property shall be kept separate by the lawyer until there is an accounting proceedings and it did not follow the rules. the county court clerk failed to comply with ¶27 under the version of orpc rule 1.15(b) & (c) in effect at the time of respondent counsel. such documents, whether from this jurisdiction or any other jurisdiction, shall suspended for a period of six months; costs imposed. additionally, atkinson executed an affidavit that was attached to rucker's motion for appeal. at some point, ll&d filed a grievance against casey and the general counsel's oklahoma bar ass'n v. israel, 2001 ok 42, ¶13, 25 p.3d 909; state ex rel. bar ass'n v. matter, the bar seeks reimbursement of costs in the amount of $4,513.49 against casey matter the oklahoma bar association has proven all counts against the parties. in this ¶1 these two matters are treated as companions for purposes of a published opinion only. client fraud or crime), rule 8.4(a) (violation of a rule of conduct), rule 8.4(c) county. in approximately march, 2000, casey brought in the firm of lloyd & lloyd as made a deal that if i agreed not to practice, the oba agreed to not suspend to the administration of justice6 entitled to receive and, upon request by the client or third person, shall 4.3 briggs title 5 o.s. 2011, ch. 1 app. 1-a, rule 7.3, rules governing disciplinary proceedings 3.7 casey, briggs, and johnson. p. 490, 492, and thus, the mutual agreement may be express or implied. see, in re held in abeyance. this motion was granted on december 5, 2007. by december of 2010, notify the respondent and the general counsel of the appointment and membership of the ¶2 in a bar disciplinary proceeding this court exercises exclusive original jurisdiction timely brought, the respondent would have been disbarred and could have been eligible to rule of professional conduct), rule 8.4 (c) (fraud), and rule 8.4(d) (conduct prejudicial to binding on dr. tomecek upon his successful intervention in the matter. the ¶3 an extensive trial was conducted concerning the actions of both respondents before atkinson and rucker brought an original proceeding in this court in 103,066 to prohibit with a check drawn upon the operating account of n. franklyn casey. the action was this does not meet the constitutional requirements of due process, nor of viable vehicle for establishing that (1) no marriage occurred, (2) no divorce action is married. such statements violated the trust each client placed in a lawyer to resolve the n. franklyn casey, pro se, tulsa, oklahoma. lawrence a.g. johnson, pro se, bixby, had held themselves out as husband and wife in tax returns, health insurance documents, johnson from further representation in the matter alleging ethical violations and fraud. rule of conduct), rule 8.4(c) (dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation), rule 8.4(d) lingered until november of 2007, when the parties jointly requested that the matter be proceedings (rgdp), okla. stat. tit. 5, ch.1, app. 1-a (2011) (act contrary to a prevailing note 2, supra. for an accounting and, if necessary, (b) the opportunity to dispute the 2005 ok 75, 125 p.3d 1191, the court could not have realized that this the chief justice's office asked for an explanation as to why the matter had not ¶18 in 1996, linda fite hired attorney chad richardson to file a civil action on behalf of ¶19 on july 16, 1997, fite fired richardson and hired the law firm of lester, loving and court conducts a full-scale, nondeferential, de novo examination of all relevant facts, in cite as: 2012 ok 93, __ p.3d __ of that status would establish that any subsequent ceremonial or common law marriage relation, permanent and exclusive of all others, between parties capable of ¶22 the guardianship court approved the settlement distribution plan by which $364,000 each of the three attorneys. the trial court determined that casey and johnson violated attorney's criminal charges.2 ¶17 johnson and casey violated the trust of their respective clients by making them rel. oklahoma bar ass'n v. donnelly, 1992 ok 164, ¶14, 848 p.2d 543; state ex rel. the date this opinion becomes final. persuaded johnson that a declaratory judgment as to atkinson's marital status in relation however, the oba must follow the rules, otherwise it cannot fulfill its duties. this court subject to discipline to invoke. however, i am again concerned about the procedure that the bar practice of law until further order of the court. in its order of suspension the court shall wife, or their mutual assumption openly of marital duties and obligations. ll&d to settle its "doubtful and disputed claim." casey's assertion was based on his combined with his lack of honesty with the trial court in rogers county are evidence of apply for reinstatement by the time the proceeding reached the court. instead, we were loraine dillinder farabow, first assistant general counsel, oklahoma bar association, the supreme court of the state of oklahoma practice of law." state ex rel. okla. bar ass'n v. scroggs, 2003 ok 21, ¶ 2, 70 p.3d 821, entity could seek judicial resolution concerning the competing attorney liens. 1.3 (jurisdiction over acts contrary to standard of conduct). separate and apart. the marital status can be terminated only by decree of perpetrated in concert with respondent n. franklyn casey. that alleged misconduct contrary to a prevailing standard of conduct). the complaint also shows that casey common law marriage with atkinson and therefore she could not be in a common law administration of justice). in addition, the complaint alleged casey violated rgdp rule work pending over two years later, at the time his disciplinary hearing was held. this demonstrated by clear and convincing evidence. johnson has practiced law for over 53 specific violations of the oklahoma rules of professional conduct were found as to ll&d which indicated that approximately $30,000 in costs had been incurred. casey his resignation and did not pursue a disciplinary action against him because there was no the clerk of any court within this state in which a lawyer is convicted or as to whom provides: prosecute and defend the complaints. the settlement check. taylor at ¶ 18, 4 p.3d at 1251. this is reminiscent of state of oklahoma ex rel. oklahoma bar association v. conrady, the grievance by a law firm this court declined to assume original jurisdiction. proceedings are deferred shall transmit certified copies of the judgment and sentence on explanation of how the misconduct charges of lack of diligence5 ¶11 the general counsel initiated complaints against johnson and casey regarding this whom he knew to be asserting an interest in the settlement distribution so that person or and rucker. it would also protect atkinson and possibly his estate from any claim that a promptly render a full accounting regarding such property. panel hearing was held in state ex rel. oklahoma bar ass'n v. benefield, correct in its holdings on the merits of the litigation or on the trial courts' opinions constitute the charge and be conclusive evidence of the commission of the crime upon integrity and confidence of the profession, it ignores it. when it took or should not be permitted to resign without formal approval of this court. the duties of 1.7 (a) and (b) casey and briggs disqualification and it did not address the motion to vacate. the declaratory judgment and rucker. that determination was not vacated and it became binding on dr. tomecek see note 1, supra. none. what protection or interest of the public will be secured sixteen years after the 3 ¶7 casey became concerned that dr. tomecek would urge that rucker remained in a the responsibility of this court in disciplinary proceedings taylor, 2000 ok 35, 4 p.3d 1242: complaint against both lawyers and the other matter resulted in a complaint against one order for him to disburse the funds based on his misrepresentations to judge perugino. from approximately 2000 until 2003. during that time, they executed a prenuptial provides: practice law, with a purpose of safeguarding the interest of the public, of the courts, and required, and (3) each party is able to legally marry another. period) of the professional responsibility tribunal shall select three members thereof to the trial panel, unless good cause is shown.4 concur in scbd 4758: taylor, c.j., watt, j., winchester, j., settlement approval request in the guardianship court was provided to ll&d. actions a few days later.1 distribution of its proceeds. in that application, casey requested a payment of $30,000 to (b) upon receiving funds or other property in which a client or third of the bar association, the matter was continued by the trial panel and the lawyer was which the lawyer also has an interest until a proper accounting and (conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice), and rule 3.7 (lawyer as witness). of suspension should be set aside. upon good cause shown, the court may set aside its fraud), rule 3.3(d) (failure to inform tribunal of material fact), rule 8.4(a) (violation of a of interests is resolved. violations of specified rules of professional conduct3 proceeded. the response was that the parties were attempting to preserve judicial johnson. agreement, filed joint tax returns, and executed estate planning documents. the lawyer ¶0 oklahoma bar association brought separate complaints against two lawyers based on 527: fiduciary obligation to safeguard trust property and to segregate it from the he also filed a motion to disqualify casey, briggs, and negotiated a settlement of his appeal of the order. the trial court went on to find the following additional violations: ¶13 the appropriateness of the declaratory judgment action brought on behalf of case in the instant action. casey converted all of the attorney fees to his own use. casey rule 3.3 which requires candor to the court and that they violated rule 1.7 (a) and (b). enforcement and prosecution are placed with the oba for constitutional reasons. there had been no marriage between atkinson and rucker. initial violation? probably none. so, he breached his obligation under rule 1.15(b) and (c) to promptly notify anyone did not notify ll&d of his receipt of the settlement check nor did he notify ll&d that sanction against johnson and casey in the amount of $23,427.30. the court found that taylor at ¶ 16, 4 p.3d at 1249, 1250 (footnotes omitted) (emphasis added). become witnesses concerning the motion to vacate. the order was limited to dr. tomecek was a necessary party to the action. casey paid the attorney fees and ¶24 the okmulgee county district court determined that ll&d had a valid lien and which the conclusions and recommendations of the trial panel are neither binding nor notice: this opinion has not been released for publication in 4 property to the client. however, a lawyer should not unilaterally assume to convincing evidence to demonstrate the allegations in the complaints. trial judges in the litigation that gave rise to the complaints against respondents and finding no marriage between atkinson and rucker was never vacated and it became misconduct charges have been proven by clear and convincing evidence and whether the 1 and violations of rule 3.3(a)(2) (failure to disclose fraud or crime of client), rule 3.3(d) office brought a complaint. ¶6 casey represented peggy rucker in her divorce action against dr. frank tomecek no precedential value is afforded to them in a bar disciplinary proceeding. this court recommended two years and a day or disbarment. recognizes both ceremonial and common law marriage. summary judgment which described his relationship with rucker and stated that he marriage with dr. tomecek. casey devised a strategy to deal with the anticipated the legal profession and have injured the reputation of all members of the oklahoma bar ex rel. okla. bar ass'n v. albert, 2007 ok 31, ¶ 27 n.33, 163 p.3d 527, 538. in this the complaint against johnson also asserted a violation of rule 1.3 of the rules violation of rule 1.5 and rule 1.15(b) and (c) concerning the law firm's grievance and a to rucker would eliminate a defense to a common law marriage between dr. tomecek dissent in scbd 5748: colbert, v.c.j., kauger, j., reif, j. judgment action in rogers county where atkinson resided. johnson paid for this action appeal was pending, ll&d sued fite for breach of contract and sued the insurer seeking thirty-day suspension was imposed. however in state ex rel. oklahoma bar association 3 ¶31 the taylor decision not only articulates the lawyer's obligation in regards to a extensions of this period may be granted by the chief master ( or the vice-chief master, the one count complaint against respondent lawrence a.g. johnson alleges misconduct of law for a period of eighteen months for similar actions. ¶7 even after the matter was finally set for hearing on march 28, 2011, it was reset six concerning their filing of joint tax returns. the assertions, made by johnson on behalf of direct the lawyer to appear at a time certain, to show cause, if any he has, why the order 5.1 (c)(1) fundamentals of due process are applicable to lawyer disciplinary proceedings. state ex oklahoma bar ass'n v. colston, 1989 ok 74, ¶20, 777 p.2d 920; state ex rel. oklahoma the declaratory judgment action rule 3.3(a)(1) (false statements to tribunal), rule 3.3(a)(4) (failure to disclose client firm had reimbursed the client funds. the oba allegedly learned of his misconduct after arguing his actions in the civil proceeding are a "matter of weighing risk versus benefit". (rgdp), okla. stat. tit. 5, app. 1-a, rule 6.15(a) (2011). administration of justice), and rule 3.7 (lawyer as witness). the complaint against ¶8 johnson sent lawyer robert briggs to meet with atkinson and determine whether he egregious as to johnson who did not speak to atkinson before filing the petition on recommendation as to respondent casey was disbarment; the general counsel had ¶25 the complaint against casey urges he violated the following rules of professional intentionally circumvented his professional fiduciary duties by going to the guardianship rule 8.4(d), oklahoma rules of professional conduct, 5 o.s. 2001, ch. 1, app. 3-a, rule 1.15 by his failure to notify promptly the medical provider of the lawyer's receipt of punish but rather to inquire into and to gauge a lawyer's continued fitness the trial of this matter before the professional this court.11 represented the couple in their estate planning. he was therefore aware that from should be an actual and mutual agreement to enter into the matrimonial justice. the complaints against respondents johnson and casey by clear and convincing graham's estate, 1934 ok 674, ¶ 0, 37 p.2d 964 (syl. no. 1 by the court). costs are related to a violation of a rule of professional conduct or disciplinary rule." state 8 7 association v. benefield, 2005 ok 75, 125 p.3d 1191; and in the matter of the casey did not answer the declaratory judgment petition on davies (ll&d) to pursue the action against the nursing home under a contingency fee from potential claims upon a party's death. there is nothing unethical per se in such an the bar association asking for an explanation for its unreasonable delay and an comport with fairness and due process.7 which the judgment and sentence is based and shall suffice as the basis for discipline in was appointed guardian of her daughter by the district court of tulsa county. ultimately to obtain a determination that there had been no marriage. johnson did not sentence, the supreme court shall by order immediately suspend the lawyer from the state of oklahoma ex rel. oklahoma bar association, complainant, awarded $104,000 in attorney fees and $29,000 in costs. the decision was affirmed on respondent johnson from a public censure to a six-month suspension. the prt's required fee and was disbarred when he converted the money to his own use. such is the the trial court held a hearing and disqualified the three lawyers based on its findings of atkinson and rucker must be measured by the law of common law marriage. oklahoma state ex rel. oklahoma bar ass'n v. bolton, 1995 ok 98, ¶15, 904 p.2d 597; state ex approval of the guardianship court. fite fired ll&d for cause in january, 1999. were notified of their need to assert that interest before the trial court. agreement was made between the founder of fraley's firm, his lawyer, and fraley, and evidence of a violation of two rules. provides in pertinent part: v. oklahoma bar ass'n, 1981 ok 12, ¶10, 624 p.2d 1049. state of oklahoma ex rel. oklahoma bar association, complainant, economy! notified, the lawyer would have been suspended from the practice of law immediately ¶5 the prt found that the general counsel had established every violation asserted in unorthodox procedure not only left the public at risk, it impaired the ability of the lawyer bolusky, 2001 ok 26, ¶14, 23 p.3d 268. practice and the ethics, licensure, and discipline of legal practitioners is solely vested in general counsel of the oklahoma bar association within five (5) days after said ¶4 the focus of the trial before the prt should not have been whether a trial court was vann v. vann, 1939 ok 495, ¶ 21, 96 p.2d 76, 79. oklahoma has long recognized that maddox, 2006 ok 95, 152 p.3d 204; state of oklahoma ex rel. oklahoma bar ¶20 in february, 1999, fite hired respondent casey of the firm casey and jones. casey alleging misconduct that began as early as 1996, and continued through 2000. a trial title 5 o.s. 2011 ch. 1 app. 1-a, rule 7.2, rules governing disciplinary proceedings the nondelegable, constitutional responsibility to regulate the ¶2 in conrady, supra, the bar association informally handled the disciplinary conviction. the documents may also be furnished to the chief justice by the general home in okmulgee, oklahoma. richardson filed a petition in okmulgee county district 5 o.s. 2011 ch. 1 app. 1-a, rule 7.21 manipulation of the judicial system, which places his client at risk, is an egregious act casey's actions show his disregard for the legal system in oklahoma. casey's actions for two years and a day is an appropriate sanction for casey. red eagle v. cannon, 1945 ok 172, ¶ 18, 177 p.2d 841, 845. in other words, there is no them to practice law for ten years so that the same case upon which discipline was based 1991 ok 88, 824 p.2d 1090 ¶40-42 where miskovsky was suspended from the practice rule 1.15 requires that lawyers who are entrusted with the property of allowed to practice for ten years. in state of oklahoma ex rel. benefield, 2005 ok 75, third person any funds or other property that the client or third person is findings of a trial court concerning a lawyer's ethical obligations are not persuasive and the same would be adverse to that of their clients in the proceeding before this court. respondent casey is suspended from practice for two unenforceable for lack of its approval by the guardianship court. no notice of the (false statement of fact or law to a tribunal), rule 3.3(a)(2) (failure to disclose fraud or violation of rule 8.4 (d) in the declaratory judgment action. casey's actions in this matter to misappropriate funds to which lester, loving and davies claimed an interest and were concerning ethical violations by the parties or their counsel. the beliefs, opinions, and upon receiving funds in which a client (or third party) has an interest, a the permanent law reports. until released, it is subject to settlement of its claim. the declaratory judgment action constituted a frivolous claim asserted in bad faith as a result of his intervention in the action. the trial court felt that the attorneys involved orpc rule 8.4(a) and rgdp rule 3.7 and rule 1.3 violations that were asserted against this court's de novo review.9 persuasive." state ex rel. okla. bar ass'n v. clausing, 2009 ok 74, ¶ 4, 224 p.3d 1268, agreement with the client, a lawyer shall promptly deliver to the client or separate legal matter is asserted against respondent casey only. the two matters were would not constitute bigamy and the estates of atkinson and rucker would be protected violated rule 1.15(b) and (c) and to have violated his duty to supervise lay personnel and original proceeding for lawyer discipline the record to explain the excessive delay. here, in an apparent attempt to deferring judgment and sentence, indictment or information and the judgment and issue of marital status while protecting their interests. this violation is particularly edmondson, j., combs, j., gurich, j. ¶5 fraley, supra, teaches that the oba lacks the authority to decide if an attorney should loss to the client security fund. we strongly disapproved of the informal resignation. bar ass'n v. minter, 2001 ok 69, ¶ 7, 37 p.3d 763, 768. "in deciding whether discipline that is a matter for judicial determination following notice to the claim holders. ¶10 in april, 2010, the district court of rogers county assessed attorney fees as a "the chief master or vice-chief master of the professional responsibility tribunal shall johnson also asserted a violation of rule 1.3 of the rules governing disciplinary ¶1 i agree that this is a situation in which discipline is warranted, but i am not sure what to apply for readmission to the bar in a timely fashion. 1272 (citations omitted). "the supreme court may approve the trial panel's findings of possible allegation of a common law marriage between atkinson and rucker. casey belief that ll&d had not perfected its attorney lien and that its contract with fite was that the law provides for laches, estoppel and dismissal for failure to prosecute. (dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation), rule 8.4(d) (conduct prejudicial to the violated the same as violations of orpc rule 1.7 (conflict of interest), the complaint also (duty to supervise another lawyer). in addition, the complaint against casey asserted the ¶9 more than a year later, dr. tomecek sought to vacate the judgment asserting that he but no particular form of expression is required, reaves v. reaves, 1905 ok 32, ¶ 8, 82 [t]o constitute a valid common-law marriage it is necessary that there accordance with these rules. and severance of their interests. if a dispute arises concerning their (disclosure of all material facts in an ex parte proceeding), as well as rule 4.3 (disclosure were much more than what was needed to establish that the parties never intended to be conduct in two legal matters. their representation in one of those matters generated a the trial became focused on the ultimate success of the underlying litigation. the supra at ¶4. ¶12 the amended complaint against casey asserted violations of oprc 1.5 (fees) oprc his behalf. even though atkinson later ratified the petition, atkinson was not presented common law marriage had existed with rucker. upon receipt of the certified copies of judgment and sentence on a plea of guilty, order was placed into exempt property to permit the ward to continue to receive government period of six months; costs imposed. to foreclose the lien it claimed on the proceeds. in addition, ll&d sought to interplead numerous exhibits that included depositions and transcripts associated with that litigation. is not to punish, but rather to inquire into and to gauge a lawyer's continued fitness to ever intended to be married to rucker. briggs did so and discovered that atkinson and as third party defendants for indemnification. casey posted a $210,000 cash bond. filed ostensibly to correct the filing of joint tax returns by atkinson and rucker, but lawyer is required by orpc rule 1.15(b) to notify promptly the interested atkinson in the petition and casey's participation in the formulation of the arguments, and conduct prejudicial ¶29 in this matter, respondent casey essentially took upon himself the task of arbitrating 8.4 (a) and 8.4 (d) casey, briggs, and johnson (c) as to misrepresentation as to johnson evidence. the prt increased the discipline recommended by the general counsel for lingering discipline cannot be allowed. 11 the imposition of costs safekeeping of property: asked to impose discipline which should have been imposed much earlier. the court 10 to practice law, with a purpose of safeguarding the interest of the public, "within ten (10) days after receiving notice of the filing of a complaint, the chief master making such a contract, consummated by their cohabitation as man and against respondent casey to vacate its order, arguing that the okmulgee county district court was the proper court state ex rel. oklahoma bar ass'n v. holden, 1995 ok 25, ¶1, 895 p.2d 707; state ex under applicable law to protect such third-party claims against wrongful he would seek the guardianship court's approval of the settlement distribution. by doing his willful disregard for the rules by which all attorneys must abide. casey's intentional conduct: rule 1.5 (reasonableness, basis, and division of attorney fees), rule ¶9 in disciplinary matters, the bar association exercises a prosecutorial power8 potentially vulnerable to the possible adverse consequences of their admissions ¶23 when ll&d learned of the settlement distribution it moved the guardianship court a court of competent jurisdiction or by death of one of the parties. and the bar association failed to notify us of the the inference from the record was that he continued to practice law and that he had legal common law divorce. a lawful marriage ends only through death or judicial decree. the professional responsibility tribunal (prt). it included testimony from two of the requires an attorney to keep separate a client's (or third party's) funds in concur in scbd 5748: taylor, c.j., watt, j., winchester, j., and wife, but neither party intended to be married, a declaratory judgment action is a the hearing. it is unseemly to charge a lawyer with lack of reasonable diligence and ¶28 in taylor, the lawyer had unilaterally determined that his lien was superior to the lien revision or withdrawal. approximately 1990 until 2000 rucker had resided with patrick atkinson and that they standard of conduct). here, the court finds that the testimony of all three attorneys would be required and that take other action it deems appropriate." rules governing disciplinary proceedings clients and of third parties must hold that property with the care required (respondent's answer brief at p. 26) mr. casey's actions have brought disrepute upon governing disciplinary proceedings, 5 o.s. 2011 ch. 1, app. 1-a requires the selection rule 6.7 of the fact or make its own independent findings, impose discipline, dismiss the proceedings or ¶32 in this matter, clear and convincing evidence was presented to support casey's dispute over ownership of funds being held by the lawyer, taylor was found to have my license until further proceedings. the oklahoma bar properly notified the oba of his arrest shortly after it occurred. the assigned to this office june 18, 2012. specifically regarding the allegations of the petition. ¶14 lawful marriage, whether ceremonial or common law: panel was assigned and the initial hearing was set for december 23, 2002. on december times on the request of the respondent. the trial panel members changed twice thoughout combs, j. 7.3 (a) and 7.3 (c)(2) casey and briggs. 2012 ok 29, 275 p.3d 113; state of oklahoma ex rel. oklahoma bar association v. 1.6(a) (client confidences), rule 3.1 (filing a frivolous action), rule 3.3 (disclosure of rel. farrant, 1994 ok 13, ¶8, 867 p.2d 1279; tweedy v. oklahoma bar ass'n, see note 8, a plea of guilty, order deferring judgment and sentence, indictment or information and of a "professional fiduciary." the basis for the rule is the lawyer's supervise another lawyer). filed in march of 2004 in tulsa county district court. the couple had lived together establish that they had never entered into a common law marriage. a legal determination is warranted and what sanction, if any, is to be imposed for the misconduct charged, the reveals that johnson violated oklahoma rules of professional conduct (oprc), okla. provided for tendering a cashier's check in the amount of $30,000 to ll&d as full arising from its nondelegable power to regulate the practice of law. state ex rel. okla. of fite. however, this court's independent and nondeferential review of the trial trial panel and of the time and place for hearing, which shall not be less than thirty (30) funds or other property in a lawyer's custody. a lawyer may have a duty litigation. the complaint against johnson alleged violations of the following oklahoma v. schlegel, 1991 ok 135, 808 p.2d 671 ¶1 schlegel failed to pay a co-counsel his serve as a trial panel of masters. . ." person. except as stated in this rule or otherwise permitted by law or by appease the court, general counsel and respondent's lawyer offered an defense. he conferred with his long-time friend, respondent johnson, concerning the validity and priority of competing attorney liens and sought distribution accordingly. he and $1,181.90 against johnson. these costs shall be paid not later than ninety days from been given notice of the action.2 respondent casey is suspended from practice for a disability payments. additionally, the order authorized payments of $1,109.13 to attorney crime of client), rule 3.3(d) (disclosure of all material facts in an ex parte proceeding), standard of review was a common practice. it must stop. in benefield, there was nothing in court and filing a frivolous application to approve the settlement and by obtaining an period of two years and a day, respondent johnson richardson, $150,636.44 to respondent casey, $132,283.66 to lloyd & lloyd, and (c) when in the course of representation a lawyer is in possession of reveals violations rule 3.3(a)(1) (false statement of fact or law to a tribunal), as well as because there was no actual case or controversy between atkinson and rucker and that bar ass'n v. moss, 1983 ok 104, ¶12, 682 p.2d 205. 6 entitled to a legal fee. see also, state ex rel. oklahoma bar association v. miskovsky, never intended to be married to her. case number: scbd-4758; 5748 1 this portion of the delay. apparently, through the efforts of the respondent, with the help of lawyer's interests to an unrepresented person), and also rule 5.1(c)(1) (duty to rule 4.3 (disclosure of lawyer's interests to an unrepresented person), and rule 5.1(c)(1) dissent in scbd 4758: colbert, v.c.j., kauger, j. oklahoma city, oklahoma, for complainant. the responsibility of this court in disciplinary proceedings is not to stated, in state ex rel. oklahoma bar association v. albert, 2007 ok 31, ¶11, 163 p.3d frivolous action), rule 3.3 (disclosure of client fraud or crime), rule 8.4(a) (violation of a had the rules been followed and had the chief justice been the petition included the words "attorney lien claimed." in february, 1997, linda fite nearly two years from the time a formal complaint was filed until a trial state ex rel. oklahoma bar ass'n v. caldwell, 1944 ok 57, ¶4, 880 p.2d 349; tweedy rule 1.15 (safekeeping property) orpc rule 1.7 (conflict of interest), rule 3.3(a)(1) former district attorney's indictment and the disciplinary hearing. had the matter been rel. oklahoma bar ass'n v. wolfe, 1997 ok 47, ¶20, n.25, 937 p.2d 988; state ex rel. responsibility tribunal in case of the unavailability of the chief master) for good cause shown." v. footnotes alone will "[e]exercise an exclusive, original and nondelegable jurisdiction to regulate the lawyer's own property, and not to benefit personally from its possession. certiorari review. such an agreement may arise through the parties' declarations, admissions, or conduct; oklahoma. 1.15(a),(b),& (c) (safekeeping of funds), rule 3.1 (meritorious claims and contentions), court alleging that the spouse of a former employee of the nursing home had raped her. approach. the trial court determined that there had been no marriage between atkinson alphonse-gaston explanation of culpability for the delay:. . .(citations 5 respective interests, the portion in dispute shall be kept separate by the the $30,000 cashier's check it had received. the insurer joined casey and lloyd & lloyd and in other regards. county. the dispute concerning the attorney lien that ll&d claimed. he determined both the ¶15 a declaratory judgment action is the method atkinson and rucker utilized to the appropriate sanction footnotes state ex rel. oklahoma bar association v. casey obtained approval of his contingency fee contract from the guardianship court in tulsa disqualification order was affirmed by the court of civil appeals and this court denied who represented dr. tomecek in the divorce action, michael king, had previously n. franklyn casey, respondent. from which the public must be protected. respondent casey remains unremorseful, being had to maintaining the integrity of and confidence in the profession 9 ¶6 the initial complaint against the respondent, casey, was filed on october 24, 2002, seek atkinson's specific approval for the friendly suit, but atkinson ratified johnson's with the words "attorney lien claimed." ll&d did not submit the fee agreement for the with the opportunity to approve its assertions in advance of the filing. timely respond to the bar's demand for information in the disciplinary proceeding. a could be concluded. this is inexplicable to me. if we are to protect the public, this sort of interference by the client, and accordingly may refuse to surrender the years and a day, respondent johnson suspended for a omitted.) what protection or interest of the public has been guarded in that time? asserted against a settlement check by a doctor. this court held that the lawyer violated respective interests before disbursement is made of the funds. rule 1.15(c) association used in the handling of this matter. it agreed with the respondents to allow agreement. ll&d filed a second amended petition in the nursing home action endorsed ¶33 johnson's violation of rule 8.4 (d) in the declaratory judgment action was rucker's behalf and johnson eventually obtained a summary judgment which determined ¶4 in fraley, supra, the procedures for resignation were again circumvented. the lawyer warren self reported to the oba for me with my permission. warren edmondson, j., combs, j., gurich, j. misappropriated funds belonging to the firm for which he worked and from its clients. an ¶16 however, this court's plenary review of the facts and law concerning this matter was a necessary party to the action between atkinson and rucker and that he had not property in which both the lawyer and another person claim interests, the the constitutional right to a speedy trial. limbo does not maintain the co-counsel with an oral agreement to split the fee. arbitrate a dispute between the client and the third party. of the legal profession.10 association. a thorough review of the record reveals suspension from the practice of law 1.16 (a)(1) casey, briggs, and johnson judgment and sentence of conviction to the chief justice of the supreme court and to the hearing shall not be less than thirty to sixty days from the date of the appointment of okla. stat. tit. 5, ch. 1, app. 3-a (supp. 2007). a comment to rule 1.15 provided: party. this notification allows the client (or third party) (a) the opportunity before the guardianship court were frivolous, ex parte and calculated so as to enable him would be employed by the firm as a law clerk to earn money to pay back his thefts. the conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice when it appeared that the bar association engaged in the same conduct. i recommended issuing a show cause order to of the courts, and of the legal profession.... 824. the focus of the trial should have remained on whether there was clear and creates both a relation and a status. the marriage relation may be severed of a trial panel within ten days after receiving notice of the complaint.3 rucker had held themselves out as husband and wife, but that neither intended to be rules governing disciplinary proceedings, 5 o.s. 2011 ch. 1, app. 1-a requires that a respondent casey failed to meet his ethical obligation to see that the interested parties severance of interests can be made or until any dispute over the quantum 10, 2002, the bar association requested a continuance, offering no reason, other than the person has an interest, a lawyer shall promptly notify the client or third 2012 ok 93 ¶26 the complaint alleges numerous orpc violations concerning casey's representation lawyer until the dispute is resolved. governing disciplinary proceedings (rgdp), okla. stat. tit. 5, ch.1, app. 1-a (2011) (act third parties, such as a client's creditors, may have just claims against ¶3 in maddox, supra, the proceeding was delayed more than five years between the rule 6.6 of the rules governing disciplinary proceedings, 5 o.s. 2011 ch. 1, app. 1-a 125 p.3d 1191 the cause took nearly two years from the time a formal complaint was lawyer, in a letter to a friend, dated march 9, 2009, wrote: noted the breakdown in the system stating: (or vice-chief master if the chief master is absent or otherwise fails to act within such reinstatement of fraley, 2005 ok 39, 115 p.3d 842. rules of professional conduct (oprc), okla. stat. tit. 5, ch. 1, app. 3-a (2011): rule to approve the settlement. the motion was granted and affirmed on appeal. while the thus, when two parties cohabit and hold themselves out in certain respects to be husband 2 state ex rel. oklahoma bar ass'n v. mayes, 2003 ok 23, ¶17, 66 p.3d 398; state ex rel. 4.2 briggs days nor more than sixty (60) days from the date of appointment of the trial panel. implicitly with the knowledge of the oba, that he would resign from the oba and he appropriate sanction for johnson for his acts that were prejudicial to the administration of provides: order of suspension when it appears to be in the interest of justice to do so, due regard filed an application with the guardianship court for approval of the settlement and in this action had not been truthful and did not divulge the divorce action in tulsa ¶34 "the appropriateness of assessing costs hinges on whether the professional lawyer only. general counsel and the respondents used the trial courts' determinations as to the ¶30 a lawyer cannot become the sole arbiter concerning the right to settlement proceeds nursing home litigation. casey and lloyd & lloyd had discussions with a lawyer from oklahoma bar ass'n v. eakin, 1995 ok 106, ¶15, 914 p.2d 644. the trial court from taking evidence from dr. tomecek concerning the motion to vacate. rule 1.3, oklahoma rules of professional conduct, 5 o.s. 2001, ch. 1, app. 3-a, see and the public would have been protected. instead, on the lawyer's behalf, a member of her daughter, a mentally incompetent person who resided at the lake drive nursing not participating in 4758: reif, j. v. and the fact that the lawyers had


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